Women’s Tennis: Finishing Strong in San Juan

Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis wrapped up its fall season similarly to how it’s played all year: gritty, tough and to the end.

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Chloe Kim

Women’s double tennis match between Vanderbilt and Purdue as photographed on October 9, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Chloe Kim)

Jonah Barbin, Senior Staff Writer

This past weekend, Oct. 28-30, Vanderbilt’s women’s tennis team traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to compete in the San Juan Invitational. This tournament marked the final action of the fall season for the Commodores.

The Commodores were tasked with competing with Auburn, Florida State, Michigan and Wisconsin.

On the first day of the tournament, Vanderbilt faced Michigan in singles play and then Florida State in doubles play. Junior Holly Staff got Vanderbilt off to a strong start, winning 6-4, 6-1 over Michigan’s Nicole Hammond. Freshman Bridget Stammel also won her match against Andrea Cerdan 7-6 (8-6), 6-0. The Commodores dropped their four other singles matches to the Wolverines.

In the doubles portion of the day, Vanderbilt split their six matches with Florida State. In the first round of doubles, Celia-Belle Mohr and Anessa Lee fought hard on the route to victory over Florida State’s Anna Arkadianou and Millie Bissett. In the second round, Mohr and Staff grabbed a 7-5 win, while Stammel and Amy Stevens won their match 7-6.

On day two of the tournament, Vanderbilt got things started by playing doubles against Michigan. In the first match of the day, Mohr and Staff beat Kari Miller and Julie Fliegner, 6-4. The Commodores dropped their two other doubles matchups to the Wolverines.

Following these doubles matches, Vanderbilt played singles matches against Wisconsin, Auburn and Florida State. Mohr bested Wisconsin’s Maria Sholokava in straight sets, by scores of 7-5, 6-3. Stammel similarly topped the Badgers’ Charmaine Seah, 6-2, 6-0. Finally, Staff was the third Commodore to beat a Badger in straight sets, taking down Ava Markham, 6-1, 6-4. Due to rain coming later in the day, Lee and Marcella Cruz’s singles matches were cut short.

On the third and final day of the tournament, Vanderbilt only competed in singles matches. Vanderbilt finished the invitational on a high note, going 4-3 on the final day.

By winning their final singles matches, Staff and Stammel both finished with an impressive 3-0 singles record for the tournament. Mohr and Lee won their matches on Sunday as well.

The impressive day for the Commodores concludes a very strong season for Vanderbilt, highlighted by a fast start at Debbie Southern Furman Fall Invitational and a dominant performance at the June Stewart Invitational.

The Commodores now have an offseason to train and prepare as they have their sights set on making a run in the SEC and NCAA tournaments in the spring.